The next generation Xbox was unveiled on Tuesday. There’s been plenty of talk about it already. I’ve spent the time since the reveal trying to figure out exactly how I feel about it, and even now I’m not entirely sure. I’ve decided to write this piece to try and sort it out, so just bear with me on this. I know what the Gallery’s bread and butter is, so if you humor me while I ramble, I’ll give you a bunch of gamer girl pictures at the end.
After the jump, I’ll go into what I feel are the pros and cons of the system. I just want to take a second to touch on two things that really don’t matter about it. First, the name. Microsoft is calling their new system the Xbox One. People are losing their minds about this, and I’m failing to see why. “It’s a stupid name!” No, it’s not. You want to know what a stupid name would have been? The Xbox Panda Stroker. The Xbox Baby Enema. Xbox Sweaty Nipples. It really could have been worse. Another thing I’ve read is, “It’s not the first Xbox, it’s the third!” Right. So if you know that, and I know that, what’s the problem here? Were you already calling the original Xbox the Xbox One? I doubt it.
Another thing that has people all in a tizzy is how the One looks. The most popular complaint is that it looks like a VCR. So what? Did something involving VCRs traumatize you as a child? I don’t get it. It’s not a big stretch for a gaming system to be rectangle shaped. Most of them have been that shape. I could understand the uproar if they made the One to look like a cat’s butthole or something, but they didn’t. All this complaining about the name and look of the machine just strikes me as superfluous. Isn’t how the machine performs more important?
So, what did I like about the reveal? A big plus is the use of the cloud. Being able to save games to the cloud reduces the need for a large hard drive, enables your game and system updates to happen automatically, and you can play your games from any console, anywhere. The automatic update thing is a very welcome feature. Some of those download times are very long. And while the ability to play a game from any console is not something I would take advantage of very often, I do like having the option. Instead of packing up my entire system and carting it around like I have to do now, with the One I don’t even have to bring a game with me. Overall, I like the idea of utilizing the cloud, but there is a glaring problem with it too. I’ll talk about that later.
Another positive is that they didn’t mess with the controller very much. There are some slight changes. The D-Pad has been tweaked a bit from the saucer shaped D-Pad for the 360 and they’ve added ridged edges to the thumbsticks. I like both of those changes. They also added “rumble triggers”, which if I’m following them right will allow for feedback to be programmed for specific buttons. I’ve never really been too big on rumble controllers, so I can take or leave this feature. The only question I have is about how the batteries work. Pictures found after a quick image search seem to indicate that there is a compartment to change batteries out. Doing this as opposed to having a rechargeable battery built into the controller makes it so the controller can still be salvaged after the battery dies. That’s cool with me, but I’d like the option of some kind of rechargeable battery pack that I can use instead of going through a bunch of AAs.
Microsoft finally got with the program and put a blu-ray drive in the One. I’d be more happy about that if I didn’t already have a blu-ray player, but it is a good thing for those without one. I’m not going to get into the specs of what’s on the inside of the machine other than that. Basically, I don’t understand what they all mean enough to have an opinion. Hey, I come from a time when these were awesome graphics:
Needless to say, I’m not picky on that front as long as the game is fun.
The last positive that I want to talk about is the fact that your gamerscore carries over from the 360. I like being able to look back at the games I played and being able to see how well I did on them. Not only that, but chasing after achievements often gives a game a longer lifespan. Speaking of achievements, they are supposed to be even more in depth on the One. Something about being able to create new ones whenever they deem it necessary even after the game is out. They didn’t go into it very much at the reveal, so we’ll see how it goes.
Now we get to the things that were not so good about the One’s reveal. These things have been beaten to death at this point, so I’ll try not to go on for too long. I know you’ve been waiting patiently for the T&A pics. Unless you cheated and just skipped down to them already. The biggest problem people seem to have is the requirement to connect to the internet once every 24 hours. I can definitely see why this is a problem. The people at Microsoft just don’t seem to get that there are still places in the world with shoddy internet access, or even none at all. This is what makes cloud gaming iffy.
I think my biggest problem with the One is the multitude of useless features. The whole cable TV integration thing is totally unnecessary. When my Xbox is on, it’s because I want to play a game. If I want to watch The Price is Right, I’ll turn off my console and watch it. It’s really not that hard, and I don’t care about the few extra seconds I’ll lose switching inputs.
The One wants to be an all in one machine, giving you the ability to multitask. You can watch TV, a blu-ray movie, and play a game while also talking to someone on Skype. No thanks. I just want to play a game, OK? I can do all that other stuff some other time, and I certainly can’t imagine a scenario in which I would need to do them all at once.
Then there’s the Kinect. It’s going to come with the system, and it’s going to be mandatory now. Look, I get that it has it’s uses. Body motion detection games can be pretty fun if done right. But I really don’t like the fact that I have to have it on at all times, even when I’m not playing a Kinect game. And I especially don’t like that this thing is always watching me. According to Microsoft, Xbox One can recognize you, log you in and tailor your home screen just for you. Surely I can’t be the only one that finds this creepy. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather press buttons to navigate the home screens. I don’t want to be flailing all around while navigating menus. The controller works just fine for navigating.
In addition to the Kinect’s camera, it also has a mic built in. This is so you can navigate your Xbox using voice commands. This is a novel idea, but you know what? I don’t want to talk to my Xbox. Especially in the dead of night when the rest of the people in my house are sleeping. I suppose the ability to vocally call an audible in a football game or tell a character in a game to cover you while you take a poop is kind of neat, but again, these are things that the controller was handling just fine.
Also at the reveal, Microsoft announced a partnership with the NFL. At first glance, that sounds great. I love watching football. The best thing this partnership could deliver is the ability to watch any game I wanted. But it won’t. If you want to watch any game you want, you’re going to need to be a Direct TV subscriber (at least through 2015 when the exclusive contract is up), and you are going to have to pay for the NFL Sunday Ticket, which will cost you a testicle or ovary. No, this partnership seems to be about fantasy football, giving you instant updates whenever one of your fantasy people scores points for you. I HATE fantasy football, so this doesn’t entice me at all. They made promises of other “immersive” experiences, so I’ll wait it out to see what these are before I totally write this partnership off.
I have one last hurdle before we get to the pics. Used games. 99% of the time, I buy games used. With my income, it’s just something I have to do. While it wasn’t covered in the reveal, news began breaking afterward that Xbox would be requiring you to pay a fee to play used games on the One. Word in some circles is that this fee will be so high that it will be like paying full price for the game. There are no ways to get around this. You have to install all your games, and once you do, that game is exclusive to your account. Any time another account tries to install that same game, that person has to pay the fee. Once they do, the game is removed from the original user’s account and is now exclusive to the new account. Ignoring everything else I’ve talked about up to this point, this fee thing is enough to make me skip the Xbox One.
Overall, I’d say the Xbox One reveal was kind of a let down. They spent very little time on the actual games, and too much time on crap that really doesn’t matter. I’m convinced that Microsoft are totally in their own bubble and do not understand what the average gamer wants. Oh, and there’s going to be a Halo TV series that has Stephen Spielberg’s name attached. I doubt he’s going to be all that involved. Even if he is, who cares? I’m pretty sure people don’t play Halo for the story.
I skipped straight to the gamer girls. That last one is pretty hot. Pay for Play wouldn’t be all that bad if they would put reasonable prices on it.
Yeah, if they keep it reasonable I may be able to look past it.
I still have my sega lol
Me too! 🙂
That’s a lot of writing for a dumb game…
Indeed it is. Contrary to what my body of work here at the Gallery would suggest, I do tend to get a little long winded when I talk about things I’m passionate about. Thing is, the things I’m passionate about are things no one else gives a rat’s patoot about. You have no idea how many times I’ve talked myself down from writing about action figures and cartoons.
Oooh Oooh write about action figures and cartoons
Meh, at this rate I’m going to stick with my PS3. We run two consoles in my house so we can play online together and I hate the bulky Xbox controller. And it still needs batteries? Screw that. I’m about to sell both 360s as it is, why do I want a creepy spying version?
There’s not really anything I can say to talk you out of that mindset. They’ve kinda just dug their own grave at this point, and now they’re going to have to lie in it.
Things I retained from this:
2. Oregon Trail
*wanders off to play Ghouls’n Ghosts*
Works for me.
Finally some sense about all this…and…from the Gallery? Hmmmmm…
Yeah, imagine that. Perhaps I’m slipping.
What’s wrong with action figures and cartoons?
Well, nothing in and of itself. I just always figured that the Gallery wasn’t really the right audience for that sort of thing.
I’m in the minority in that I’m not outraged and arming myself with a pitchfork and torch to go storm Microsoft’s HQ. I already have a 360 that we use exclusively as our home entertainment system. We run everything through that device: Netflix and Hulu. The BF also has his computer networked to the Xbox so any ummm…skillfully procured films we want to see go through the Xbox. We’re connected to Xbox Live at all times (unless I’m playing a game on my profile which is not on Xbox Live) and our Kinect is on 24/7 as well, which leads to some entertaining Netflix viewing choices from my cats. The voice activation exists now and its about as good as Google Voice trying to translate my voice mails. Honestly it makes us laugh more than anything. Bring it on, I say!